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  5. "They were walking down the s…

"They were walking down the street when they saw the robber leaving the store."

Translation:Ils marchaient dans la rue quand ils ont vu le voleur qui sortait du magasin.

May 21, 2020



Why not "Ils marchaient dans la rue quand ils ont vu le voleur sortait du magasin." ? Why is the "qui" necessary in this case?


in the phrase, "quand is ont vu le voleur," le voleur is functioning as the object of ils ont vu. It can't then turn around and be the subject of sortait. You need a nominative pronoun, qui, to be the subject of sortait.


How about: ... quand ils ont vu le voleur sortir du magasin


That's accepted.


Thank you for this explanation!


unless maybe we use the gerund for 'sortie' - as is with the English. "leaving' is gerundium - is it not? 'sortie' however is past tense 3rd person. In English that would then be "...saw the robber who left the store". and the 'who'='qui'.


Would the english sentence which translates as "Ils marchaient dans la rue quand ils ont vu le voleur qui sortait du magasin" not be best phrased "They were walking in the street when they saw the robber who exited the store", rather than the sentence given ("They were walking down the street when they saw the robber leaving the store.")


Maybe, but the point they are trying to teach is that in English the inclusion of "who" in that sentence is optional, it is correct (and common) with or without it. In French it's mandatory


Hi Colin, thank you! I appreciate it. I feel like you and I might be saying something really similar in two different ways. Or perhaps that we just have different perspectives of the same thing. Thank you, that helps!


OK, so, since there is no way to report this issue to Duolingo I'm detailing the problem here in the unlikely case that somebody who actually works for the company decides to glance over here.

The English sentence is ambiguous. It could either mean:

a) that they saw the robber (who was) leaving the store, or

b) that they saw (the event of) the robber leaving the store.

The French translation corresponds to the first of these interpretations (a), even though I personally find (b) to be the more natural interpretation.

The problem is that if you ask somebody to translate the sentence from English to French, users will have no way to know which interpretation they should be trying to provide a translation for. It's annoying because they could have just used a full relative clause in the English sentence instead of a reduced relative, which would resolve the ambiguity.

You get what you pay for, I guess, but I'm sure glad I don't pay for this garbage.


" Ils marchaient dans la rue quand ils ont vu le voleur en sortant du magasin " - marked wrong, don't know why


I tried this too. I think the problem is as follows. If you say "ils ont vu le voleur en sortant du magasin", then its "they" rather than "the thief" who are / is leaving the shop. So fitting it together with the first part of the sentence gives something that just doesn't make sense.


"They were walking down the street when they say the robber who was leaving the store" and "...the robber leaving the store" are two entirely different sentences in English, and I hardly believe they'd be expressed identically in French.


I would like to know what is wrong with: ils marchaient dans la rue quand ils ont vu le voleur en sortant du magasin?


could not leaving be present tense?


Not really because the "saw" the thief leaving. Obviously both the seeing of the thief and the thief leaving happened at the same time (because the sentence tells us that). Since the seeing of the thief was in the past tense, the leaving must also be in the past tense.


Why not "le magasin"


To leave/to get out of = sortir de and de + le = du


The English sentence is ambiguous. The object of the verb "saw" could mean either "the robber WHO WAS leaving the store" or "the robber IN THE ACT OF leaving the store." I chose the second interpretation and it was rejected.


Why not 'quitter le magasin'? Why does the English sentence not say "who was leaving"? This is unnecessarily convoluted. I think it's a poor example of the grammatic form Duo is trying to teach.


it seems to me that in English you say 'I see someone leaving x'. whereas French needs the 'qui/who'. Although I would have said '....le voleur sortait du magasin'....but it was rejected

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